July 2012



A global Arms Trade Treaty would help to prevent irresponsible arms transfers that fuel and sustain conflict, destroy lives and undermine development. Today negotiations begin at the United Nations to agree just such a treaty. Saferworld has been at the forefront of efforts to secure a global accord on the arms trade ever since the idea was first proposed in 1996.


Five reasons why we need an Arms Trade Treaty now


1. Thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, and forced to flee from their homes as a result of the unregulated global arms trade every day.


2. Around the world, one person dies every minute as a result of armed violence.


3. Right now trade in bananas is more strictly controlled than trade in weapons and ammunition that contribute to armed conflict and human rights violations.


4. Without a treaty in place, governments have argued that they are doing nothing wrong by supplying arms into conflict and human rights crisis zones.


5. The world can’t wait.


The UN negotiations mark the culmination of over 15 years of campaigning by Saferworld, among others. The danger now, as we approach the final hurdle, is that sceptical states will try to water down the contents of the treaty. Saferworld will be working hard at the negotiations in New York to ensure states agree a robust treaty that will make a real difference to people’s lives.

Stay up to date on the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations

  1. Follow the negotiations in New York on Twitter at #armstreaty or on the Arms Trade Treaty Monitor
  2. Follow Saferworld’s blog, direct from New York.
  3. Find out more about our work on the Arms Trade Treaty  


Putting the Arms Trade Treaty into practice

Watch Saferworld’s arms expert Roy Isbister explain why we need a strong Arms Trade Treaty and why states at the UN negotiations need to focus on how the treaty will be put into practice.


Gender and the Arms Trade Treaty

With calls for a ‘gender-aware’ Arms Trade Treaty gaining momentum, Saferworld’s Dell Marie Butler explores what such a treaty might entail – and why such a people-centred approach to arms control remains critical.


Key treaty issues from a human security perspective

Guest commentator Dr Dai Ying explores four key issues that are likely to be the focus of debate at the UN negotiations: including ammunition in the treaty; no exceptions for recreational weapons; no arms transfers to non-state actors and supporting victim assistance programmes.


On target: Will the UK fight the battle for tough arms control?

The UN negotiations are the greatest opportunity ever to regulate the global arms trade. The UK has been crucial in making this happen and a strong Arms Trade Treaty will be a triumph for UK diplomacy. In this paper, members of the Control Arms campaign (including Saferworld) call on the UK Government to hold out for a robust Treaty.


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